Trainer Firas Zahabi has been with Georges St.
Pierre for years.
He knows how hard the UFC welterweight champion works, and in a
recent interview with the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show, Zahabi explained why GSP’s
preparation can’t be sustained for several more years of
The trainer also discussed the use of the jab in MMA and more.
On whether St. Pierre is less likely than other champs to
be fighting when he’s 35: “I think so because his training
camps are not sustainable forever. His training camps are very
difficult. I’ve done a lot of training camps. I could tell you the
energy, time and money and hours spent doing a GSP training camp is
ridiculous. It’s borderline insane. There’s a lot of effort going
into preparing him for his fights. Can he live this lifestyle for
another four or five years? I don’t know. Because it’s not a
balanced lifestyle. It’s not a balanced lifestyle for him.
“He’s giving up a lot of free time and leisure time and experiences
he could be having in life to maintain his title, to maintain this
excellence. It’s a difficult thing to do. He’s going to have to
make that choice one fight at a time. Does he want to go through
another training camp? Right now at this time, yes, for sure.
There’s no doubt in my mind he wants to do another one, but down
the line, two or three more training camps, is he still going to
want to do it? That’s up to him. Does he still have the fire and
the passion? We’ll see.”
On the idea of St. Pierre cleaning out the welterweight
division: “They always say that. They’ve been saying that
since the B.J. Penn fight
at UFC 94. ‘There’s nobody else, there’s nobody else.’ There’s
always a guy that pops up. Jake
Ellenberger looked great, and then there’s going to be another
guy. There’s Demian Maia.
Maia’s on a win streak. There’s always an up-and-comer. You
can’t forget that every time there’s a show, the deck gets
shuffled. That’s why I don’t really believe there’s nobody else.
Look at Robbie
Lawler, for instance. He had a tremendous win. Very impressive
win. That guy can hit you with one punch and it’s over. Same thing
Ellenberger, same thing with [Johny] Hendricks.
“There are so many studs out there. Tomorrow, when you run out of
them, the next day you’ll find a new guy with a great performance,
like Erick Silva,
for instance. I’m sure he’s going to go on a winning streak. He
just lost to Jon Fitch. I
wouldn’t be surprised if he wins three, four fights in a row. I
wouldn’t be surprised at all. It wouldn’t shock me the least bit,
and he could become a No. 1 contender. There’s always going to be
another guy. There’s too many good guys out there. I think it’s a
myth that the division can be cleaned out.”
On the jab in MMA: “Everybody kind of thinks they
know how to jab, but they really don’t. A lot of times you show
them the real jabbing mechanics, different types of jabs for
different types of situations, and I haven’t come across many MMA
fighters that are familiar with the system of jabbing. … It’s very
complex. It’s not that simple. When to jab, how to jab, the
context. When can you jab without paying for it? Without getting
clipped? Without getting countered?
“You saw Georges jab [Nick] Diaz beautifully. It was a good punch
to keep Diaz on his heels. Diaz, once he gets going with two-,
three-punch combinations, then it becomes an avalanche of flurries
and you can’t stop him. Once he gets going like that, you can’t
stop him. Georges used the jab not to even let him get going. He
cut him off, just like he did with [Josh] Koscheck. Sometimes the
jab is called for, and sometimes it’s not. The biggest weakness to
a jab is the kick. If a guy’s a powerful kicker, it’s hard to jab.
Like [Carlos] Condit is a little bit harder to jab because he has
such a powerful kick. A round kick could beat a jab, but any punch
will lose to a jab. If you throw an uppercut and I throw a jab
correctly, I’ll beat your uppercut. I’ll beat your hook. I’ll beat
your overhand right. If I jab correctly, a jab should cut off any
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:06:56).